Skip to content

Zero Waste Tips – 124 Simple Ideas To Avoid Waste In Your Everyday Life

Zero Waste Tips To Avoid Waste In Your Everyday Life

Looking for the best zero waste tips for less waste in your everyday life? Then you are absolutely right here! In our Disposable society we produce an average of 483 kilograms of waste per capita every year.₁ Avoiding waste is therefore easier than ever these days! Fortunately, the Zero Waste movement is no longer a new phenomenon and already has countless ideas and tips ready for you that are incredibly easy to implement.

In this article I would like to give you the best and most valuable tips for avoiding waste in all areas of everyday life. Whether you are a Zero Waste beginner or advanced, it doesn't matter - just implement them into your life little by little. Let's go!

Here you can find a short overview in advance:

  1. Definition
  2. Advantages
  3. Tips
  4. Closing words

Definition: What is Zero Waste?

Zero Waste is a waste-avoiding lifestyle and literally means "Zero garbage". In the long term, the aim is to, to produce as little waste as possible in one's own life. Among other things, to natural resources of the earth and preserve a clean planet for future generations.

Advantages: Why Zero Waste?

The most significant Zero Waste tip is definitely to know at all times why you should actually consciously avoid trash. Here are some Advantages and reasonswhich should serve your lasting motivation:

Environment and Protect animals

Waste such as plastic waste are not biodegradable and linger (depending on the material) for centuries in nature. At the same time, the garbage is not only an aesthetic, but above all a life-threatening disturbance factor. Especially for wild animals that eat it or strangle themselves on it.

Conserve resources

Avoiding waste means reducing the natural resources of the earth to conserve. This works pretty much automatically when Zero Waste is implemented. For example, since Food waste avoided, on Reusable alternatives set and as possible Packaging material is dispensed with will.

Save money

Reusable things you have to pay in the best case only once - You buy disposable products over and over again. It's only logical that you'll save money by avoiding waste, sustainable lifestyle saves money. At the same time, incidentally, the cost of waste processing is also reduced, which also your region benefits from financial savings.

Be a role model

Above all, however, Zero Waste also serves personal development. Those who consciously avoid waste are leading the way and are always aware that we all have a Responsibility for future generations (i.e. also for our children and grandchildren) on earth.

124 tips: How can you avoid waste in everyday life?

How can you avoid waste in everyday life?

Now you know, why Zero Waste is so important is. So we can now well prepared and highly motivated move on to the practical tips for waste prevention in everyday life.

For a better overview, I have divided them into classic categories, but one or the other tip can of course also help you in other areas of everyday life.

And one more thing: no one manages to make absolutely no garbage these days. Just be aware, that every waste prevention measure, no matter how small but implemented, makes sense.

Basic Zero Waste principles for beginners

  1. Buy things only once if possible.
  2. Use what you have.
  3. Prefer reusable instead of disposable.
  4. Buy used instead of new.
  5. Share, give away or trade things you don't need.
  6. Own things with long, rather than short, useful lives.
  7. Borrow and lend items you don't need as often or for long.
  8. Prefer quality over quantity.
  9. Only buy things that you really need.
  10. Repair items when they no longer work.
  11. Make the things you want yourself.
  12. Talk to manufacturers to redesign products to be as waste-free as possible.

Continuing contributions: For more information on the general basics, feel free to check out the blog articles Zero Waste Beginner, Zero Waste Basic Equipment and Zero Waste Lifestyle to get to know each other.

Zero Waste in purchasing and consumption

Waste-free shopping in the unpacked store
  1. Always have your bag when shopping or Backpack in the process.
  2. Buy products loose without packaging (at the unpackaged store).
  3. Replace plastic bags with Fruit and vegetable nets. (is available here*)
  4. Plan your meals ahead so you don't buy more than you need.
  5. Stick to your shopping list to avoid impulse buys.
  6. Buy at the regional weekly market or directly from farmers.
  7. Prefer crooked fruits and vegetables and lonely bananas.
  8. Buy food in bulk if it will last long enough.
  9. Before making any purchase, ask yourself if you really need this thing.
  10. Tell the cashier you don't need the receipt before it prints.
  11. Borrow literature from the library or buy it used. (e.g. here*)
  12. Do something with your friends instead of shopping when you are bored or having a bad day.
  13. Before you buy something in emotional exuberance that you do not need, then sleep another night over it and then decide prudently.
  14. Donate unused or intact used items to thrift stores.
  15. Pack gifts as plastic-free as possible in newspaper or simply not at all.
  16. Prefer experiences to material things.
  17. Buy children's toys used and sell them when you no longer need them.
  18. Sell and give away things no longer needed.
  19. Consciously avoid returns for online orders.

Continuing contributionsIf you want to delve deeper into the subject, I can recommend the articles Second hand advantages, Buy used goods, Live minimalist, Plastic free shopping and Sustainable online stores recommend

Avoid waste in the kitchen and household

Dishwashing liquid from ivy for zero waste household
  1. Make your own Washing up liquid from ivy her.
  2. Replace cling film with Stainless steel lunch boxes and Oilcloths. (there's here* and here*)
  3. Organize your food supplies into Preserving jars, so as never to buy too much.
  4. Use dish towels and rags instead of paper towels.
  5. Use pasta water to thicken sauces or water plants.
  6. Get Glass drinking straws or stainless steel instead of plastic and paper.
  7. Use coffee grounds as an exfoliator, odor remover or natural fertilizer.
  8. Air clothes instead of washing them once they have been worn and are still clean.
  9. Always fill the washing machine and dishwasher properly before you turn them on.
  10. Dry your clothes outside on the line instead of in the dryer.
  11. Forgo the air conditioner and the permanently open tilt window and instead shock ventilate early in the morning.
  12. Plaster with reusable cloth rags.
  13. Make your own cleaning products. (e.g. DIY oven cleaner or DIY glass cleaner)
  14. Prefer reusable batteries instead of disposable batteries.
  15. Put the "No advertising!" sticker on the mailbox.
  16. End unnecessary subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and brochures.
  17. Fold your Garbage bags for organic waste from old newspaper.
  18. Raise your child with reusable cloth diapers instead of disposable diapers.
  19. Use compostable Dog waste bags. (is available here*)

Continuing contributions: If you want to know even more about these Zero Waste tips, feel free to also take a look at the articles Saving energy in the home, Zero Waste Cleaning, Coffee grounds applications as well as Unsubscribe from advertising by mail.

Zero Waste in food

Avoiding waste in everyday life Food
  1. Eat a plant-based, regional and seasonal diet and avoid meat & co.
  2. Save food with food sharing or apps like ToGoodToGo.
  3. Learn to use food completely. (see Utilize leftovers)
  4. Preserve food in jars to make it last longer.
  5. Sort your food into the correct refrigerator compartments.
  6. Make your own Bread chips from stale bread her.
  7. Freeze food plastic free in glass, cloth, paper or cans.
  8. Cook fresh and avoid waste-producing to-go and convenience meals.
  9. Stock up so you can avoid rushing orders to delivery services when things might get stressful.
  10. Cook more of your dinner as lunch for the next day.
  11. Ask for plastic-free or reusable packaging materials when you do order food from a delivery service.
  12. Prefer natural home remedies instead of pills when a cold is on the horizon.
  13. Drink tap water instead of water from plastic bottles.
  14. Process leftover vegetables into smoothies or vegetable soup.
  15. Don't take the best-before date too seriously, and instead trust your senses when it comes to expired food.
  16. Buy tea in bulk and use a Stainless steel tea strainer to boil. (is available here*)

Continuing contributionsIf you want to learn more about the mentioned Zero Waste tips, you can read more about them in the following blog posts Making food last longer, Reduce food waste, Buy regionally, Seasonal shopping, Add flavor to tap water and Reasons for vegan lifestyle read in.

As waste-free as possible in the bathroom and during personal hygiene

Zero Waste Tips for Body Care and Bathroom
  1. Use bar soap when showering and as a substitute for liquid hand soap.
  2. Make your own toothpaste or use toothbrush tablets. (is available here*)
  3. Use reusable metal ear swabs. (is available here*)
  4. Swap your plastic toothbrush for one that is Bamboo toothbrush on. (is available here*)
  5. Replace disposable pads and tampons with cloth pads and a Menstrual cup. (is available here*)
  6. Learn your Making sunscreen yourself.
  7. Turn off the faucet when you shower or brush your teeth.
  8. Replace the disposable razor with a Stainless steel razor plane. (is available here*)
  9. Prefer plastic free Lip balm instead of plastic chapstick. (is available here*)
  10. Produce your own deodorant from natural ingredients.
  11. Go for washable cotton pads. (is available here*)

Continuing contributions: Suitable for this you get in the articles Bathroom without plastic, Save water in the home and Sustainable body care more valuable info.

Furnishing and living in the spirit of the zero waste lifestyle

Zero waste dining table from old oak planks
  1. Build your own furniture from old materials. (e.g. DIY dining table)
  2. Switch to LEDs for your light bulbs.
  3. Turn off your technology completely instead of going into standby mode.
  4. Process old bedding and towels into handkerchiefs and cloth bags.
  5. Use linen napkins instead of disposable alternatives for dining. (is available here*)
  6. Only buy the technical devices that you really need in everyday life.
  7. Just dress a little thicker instead of turning up the heat.
  8. Donate old furniture and other items to social service organizations.

Continuing contributions: If you want to know even more, you will find in the DIY Furniture Blog and in the blog articles Sustainable living and Environmentally friendly home found.

Zero Waste in your own garden

Waste prevention in the garden through a compost heap
  1. Create a compost pile and produce soil from organic waste.
  2. Check with family, friends and neighbors first before buying a new garden tool.
  3. Capture rainwater with a cistern or barrel for irrigation.
  4. Grow your own food.
  5. Use old egg cartons and yogurt cups to grow seedlings.
  6. Obtain and exchange seeds at public swap meets.
  7. Water your garden when the sun has set.
  8. Fight pests in a natural way. (e.g. tansy against potato beetle).

Continuing contributions: If you want to know more about Zero Waste tips and a more eco-friendly garden, be sure to check out these articles Sustainable gardening, Bird friendly garden and Proper composting inside.

Zero Waste tips for your clothes

  1. Prefer durable clothes that are timeless and can be easily combined.
  2. Only buy clothes that you will definitely wear.
  3. Consciously reduce the number of wash cycles.
  4. Go for a natural moth repellent, like cedar. (is available here*)
  5. Have damaged shoes repaired by a cobbler.
  6. Keep all spare parts in a designated place.
  7. Make a tote bag out of an old t-shirt.
  8. Swap clothes at a clothing swap party instead of buying them new.
  9. Have garments that are too big or too small fitted by tailors:inside.

Continuing contributionsFor more in-depth knowledge on these ideas, check out the following articles Slow Fashion, Sustainable fashion, Sustainable fashion brands and Tips for more durable clothing.

Waste prevention in the office and at work

Lunch in a canning jar as a zero waste tip for the office
  1. Print documents on both sides if printing cannot be avoided.
  2. Use public transportation or carpool to work.
  3. Always have a reusable CoffeeToGo mug with it. (is available here*)
  4. Take food from home to avoid to-go garbage at lunchtime.
  5. Digitize your office and reduce paper consumption.
  6. Use shredded paper as sustainable filling material for packages.
  7. Use recycled paper if paper consumption cannot be avoided.

Continuing contributionsFor more information on this tip for less waste, read the following blog articles, among others Sustainable commute, Sustainable printing, Save paper, Paperless office, Sustainable office.

Avoid waste on the road and when traveling

Man with stainless steel drinking bottle
  1. Don't leave home without a filled water bottle. (Here are the best drinking bottles in comparison)
  2. Use your bike, public transportation, or even car sharing instead of your car.
  3. Reject free promotional items and brochures in the pedestrian zone.
  4. When ordering at the café, ask to do without the straw.
  5. Drink your coffee at the table in the café instead of taking it in a disposable cup.
  6. Replace paper tissues with a Cloth handkerchief. (is available here*)
  7. Refill your water bottle with tap water on the way.
  8. Collect trash from the environment and dispose of it properly.
  9. Forgo the bakery bag if you consume baked goods directly anyway.
  10. Learn, to specifically avoid waste at festivals.
  11. Make sure you can use the towels in the hotel several times.
  12. Always have a Zero Waste on vacation Travel cutlery set with it. (is available here*)
  13. Prefer travel accommodations with a green, waste-avoiding philosophy.
  14. Organize a CleanUp and free a vacation beach from garbage.
  15. Refrain from souvenirs, which usually disappear in junk drawers.

Continuing contributions: If you want to produce even less waste, you should also take a look at the articles Zero Waste Travel, Sustainable souvenirs and Plastic free camping throw

Know Zero Waste tips and avoid waste in everyday life

How can you avoid waste in everyday life? The answer is not that complicated! Now you have a whole cornucopia of practical tips for reducing waste in everyday life at your fingertips. Try to implement them little by little, so that you reduce your personal waste more and more. But be aware that zero waste is a marathon, not a sprint where everything has to go perfectly 🙂 .

"We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."

Anne Marie Bonneau

However, when some trash does accumulate, you should always dispose of it properly to preserve the natural Continue to conserve resources in your everyday life. I sincerely hope that my Zero Waste tips will help you and that you will get a little closer to a waste-free lifestyle every day.

Do you have any questions, suggestions or further tips to avoid waste? Then I look forward to your comment.

Stay clean,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: I have also given you a detailed blog article with the Tips for plastic free living authored. Feel free to pick up more inspiration there now, too.

₁ ZDF: More household waste in 2021 than ever before (as of 19.12.2022), available at [15.03.2023].

Coffee box Suggestions for improvement

* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, because I get a small share of the sales revenue - and of course the product price does not change. Thank you for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *